23 Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts!
24 And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!
The psalmist expresses the reality that God is aware of even the smallest details of his life. That God was aware of his life being woven together in the womb. That God is aware of every nook and cranny of creation. There is no where to flee from the presence of God. Not the sky or the seas and not the heavens or hell. With this in mind, the psalmist asks God to search the deepest parts of his heart to find if there is any thought or attitude that is not pleasing to the Father. If there is, he asks God to lead him another way. Just before this prayer we find him expressing hatred and rage against the enemies of God.
This song is a perfect depiction of the beautiful mess of humanity. In moments of this song it is clear that the writer has been touched deeply by the beauty and power of God. He has a deep understanding of the knowledge of God and has strong theology in regards to the omniscience and omnipresence of God. However in the middle of all this we see him express hate towards those who hate God. A desire to destroy those who are enemies of God. At first glance we can see this as deep loyalty, however, upon further inspection, it is clear there is a blind spot in the psalmist’s faith.
A few things…
-There is no where to run from the presence of God, nor a place we can escape His love. Whether we sense God is pleased or displeased with us, the fact remains that we can’t escape Him. He is ever present and ever loving. I must rest in this. Every area of my life should include the understanding that He is right there and that He loves me in spite of my failures. (Surrender all areas to God)
-God’s knowledge and plan for our lives should cause us to take serious the precious gift we have been given in life. God’s interest in us should cause us to have a high view of life and all people.
God is aware, present and caring for all people. This must change the way I value life. My life, the life of those I love and the lives of those I struggle to love. (Value all people)
-What is true for me is true for everyone. Therefore I can’t embrace an intimate and intense love from God for me and assume He doesn’t feel the same way about other people. His love for me isn’t based on my performance or the “religious” things I do. The Father doesn’t love me more because I read His word or journal. He doesn’t love me more because I am a pastor. He doesn’t love me more for the kingdom work I am a part of. He knew and loved me in my mother’s womb. He knew and loved me when I was lost. He knew and loved me in my deepest and darkest moments. Therefore, this Love is true for those who have yet to understand the gospel. This is true for the enemies of God. The people who kick against Him, His authority and His word. The closer I walk with God the more deeply I learn to love everyone, even those who don’t get it yet. The Lord did not have to search very deeply to find the psalmist anxious and disobedience thoughts. They were found in his hatred of those who hate God. We find in Jesus that the heart of the Father is love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. (Love my enemies and the enemies of God)
Father, may I increase in love for others as I grow in my love for you. May I see all people as valued and loved and may I trust in your presence and power in all areas and relationships in this life.